Eating Peavine - UPDATE December 30, 2014

Red-breasted nuthatch - file photoRed-breasted nuthatch - file photoToday’s 71-second flashback from June 22, 2007, catches June eating peavine (Lathyrus sp.) with Lily at her side https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RH_QClVuiqw. Peavine is a legume the bears continue to eat when it’s mature like in the video. It is growing among large-leafed aster (Aster macrophyllus) leaves that were favorites when they emerged but forsaken after a week or two when they began to mature. In the video, June also ignores big bracken fern plants. Unlike the cinnamon ferns June was eating in the flashback of a couple days ago, bracken ferns are not on the menu.

Peavine leaves are efficiently gathered by stripping them sideways through a gap in the teeth called a diastema just behind the first upper premolars—the same as we saw with the fern feeding of a couple days ago.

Lily looked interested and whined a bit—perhaps wanting to nurse or get in on the peavines. It’s hard to tell.

Ruffled grouseRuffled grouse - file photoToday I went to a funeral for a friend Mike Hillman who died too early—at 62. Mike was a friend of my old friend Charles Kuralt who bought WELY Radio Station back in the 1990’s. Charles made Mike the station manager. One of Mike’s many talents turned out to be being a great host of a radio program he started with me called “The Bear Facts.” I have fond memories of doing the show with him. Mike made the show fun and kept me from being boring. Later, Mike was a staunch supporter of the Bear Center as a member of the Ely City Council. To this day, his name is on our letterhead as an advisor. About 300 people attended his funeral.

Meanwhile, Lily Fan volunteers were assembling information and pictures for species accounts that will be part of the new Ecology Hall. The pictures will illustrate the lives of northwoods wildlife of this area. One of the pictures is of a red-breasted nuthatch excavating a nest cavity in a dead birch tree where it went on to raise a brood. Another picture was of a young ruffed grouse going about its life in dense cover where it is fairly safe from avian predators. Scott Edgett singlehandedly hung the canoe donated by Lily Fans in the center of the ceiling of the Ecology Hall.

Canoe in Ecology HallCanoe hanging in Ecology Hall

Thank you for all you do.

Lynn Rogers, Biologist, Wildlife Research Institute and North American Bear Center

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